getting a singnal


how long does it usually take if you turn on your gps and start driving before the gps locks into the signal .

Signal Lock Time Varies

It seems to vary greatly. Sometimes it is almost instantaneous, other times it takes a few minutes. It depends on the geometry, obstructions, elapsed time.

><> Glenn <>< Garmin nüvi 2598

Acquiring Satellites

Normally my nuvi 660 takes about 30 seconds roughly before it locates the satellites. But I am usually coming out of the garage when it is turned on. If I am in an open area, probably about 10-15 seconds to lock on.

bombos, Garmin nuvi 1450LMT

How long?

It depends on so many factors. Does this time include the boot-up time of the GPS; or is the time measuring from when the antenna is lifted (nuvi 350)? Is it measured to the time when the 'acquiring satellites' disappears or when the accuracy is 20 feet or better? The time also varies if the GPS is at the last place it was shut off; or if you've traveled a distance with it off before turning it back on. I would guess from dead-off to 20 feet when acquiring from a new location, more than a minute wouldn't be unusual.


"Internet: As Yogi Berra would say, "Don't believe 90% of what you read, and verify the other half."

Getting a signal...

This Garmin I have (60CSx) gains a good signal acquisition within seconds. Of course, if I don't use it for a few days, it might take up to 45 seconds to get a 3D lock.


The best acquisition time is if you're stationary outside in an open area with no skyscrapers nearby, like a park.

Once you're in the cityscape with lots of skyscrapers, it will take longer for the unit to figure out where the satellites are since the signals bounce off the buildings.

If you're already in motion while it's performing acquisition, you will experience delays because you will be in a different place by the time the previous signal is analyzed.

If you're near radio towers, you will also experience delays... basically, anything and everything that interferes with signals will slow it down.


Seems that for my 360 it can take between a few seconds till a few minutes it all depends upon the surroundings and if i am moving or still.


Agree totally ;)

My nuvi 360,from the same location, can take from a few seconds to a few minutes to acquire satellites. My guess is the weather condition also plays a factor for acquiring satellites.

definitely takes a little

definitely takes a little time...

Boot up Time

My Magellan 4040 does not take long from Warm start. Cold Start with fog can take a few minutes.

Hello All Lets see the world

Mine takes awhile "acquiring

Mine takes awhile "acquiring satellites". It can be frustrating, but as it is doing this it does show me travelling down the road.

Originator of Keeping Your Windmill Alive. Live in MA & have a cooking website. 6 yr. member.

Large SD card will slow

I find that when I have a large SD card in my 670 it will slow down the initial drawing of the maps. Without a SD card in the unit it loads very fast

nüvi 660 & 670 - Hello I'm a Mac :))


My Zumo 550 only takes a few seconds outside if I'm not moving. If I take off before it says ready to navigate then it takes another 15 to 30 seconds to figure out where it is.

my c330 takes like a minute

my c330 takes like a minute to get a signal before going to work in the morning.

Getting a signal

JamesRW wrote:

My Zumo 550 only takes a few seconds outside if I'm not moving. If I take off before it says ready to navigate then it takes another 15 to 30 seconds to figure out where it is.

I'll have to try starting it up before I leave the driveway, maybe that'll make a difference. Thanks for the tip!

Originator of Keeping Your Windmill Alive. Live in MA & have a cooking website. 6 yr. member.

As long as you turn it on at

As long as you turn it on at the same spot as you turned it off, it will come up pretty quickly.

Charley - Nuvi 350 - Bel STI Driver - Cobra 29 w/ wilson 1000 - AIM: asianfire -

Slow Startup

My nuvi 200 turns on and off with the ignition. It rarely unlocks itself before I leave the driveway, which means it hasn't figured out it is home in the minute or two it takes me to leave. Probably because of the trees around my house.

><> Glenn <>< Garmin nüvi 2598

Fix times

Hi Glenn. Oversimplifying the process, a GPS receiver has first to look for any satellites in its view (the more, the better), identify them, and then do the math, using the data from at least 3 of these satellites, to determine its position in a 3-dimensional space. Since the relative position of the satellites can't be predicted with more than about two days anticipation, the receiver doesn't know where to "expect" the satellites to be in the sky, unless you feed it the data, or it anticipates it automatically, based on the previous fix. Searching for and identifying the viewable satellites is usually what eats up most of the time. The overall time to get the fix then, will vary depending on any conditions delaying the completion of these three steps, and the internal aids and algorithms that the unit utilizes. I use a Pocket PC with built in SiRF as my GPS solution, and the chip maker continually generates and makes available for download, the satellite orbit data for the following 52 hours. The chip then uses this cached data to get a (very) quick fix, because it "knows" where the satellites' relative position will be during this time period. After 52 hours the data expires and a new download is necessary to get a fast fix again, otherwise it takes significantly longer. With current data, I get a fix on about 5 seconds. With expired data, it can take several minutes. When this happens, I normally don't have the patience, and just refresh the data via GPRS before it fixes on its own smile, but I'll time it someday from the same spot and post the results.

So. Read this thread and

So. Read this thread and didn't really learn anything about how to improve acquisition time. Other than don't shut it off until you are at your final destination, where you are going to be when you next power the GPS on.

Seems to have nothing to do with software level, eh?


Bernie - Garmin Nuvi 760 (used to have 350 & 360)

Garmin 660 slow acquisition time

I bought my daughter a 660. She says she has to turn it on, then off, then on again and the second time on it acquires satellites. Not sure if this is because the first time it's gathering info, then the second start has some of the info already there.

It didn't help her the other day when she had it off, then turned it on to find an alternating route due to an accident up ahead. By the time it was ready, she had passed a detour opportunity.

Originator of Keeping Your Windmill Alive. Live in MA & have a cooking website. 6 yr. member.

How Long

My Nuvi 360 takes the most so far between 30 sec to a minute.

Very Long

My Nuvi 265WT took over 5 minutes to acquire a signal yesterday. However, after reading this post I am inclined to think it may have been because I was already moving. However, this was the first time I have run into this problem. And have never had problems before acquiring a signal while moving. Also, after I did finally acquire a signal my location was obviously off.


My Maestro 5310 takes about 3-4 seconds to load up and get a signal. My Nuvi 270 takes about 15 seconds to load up and then another 5-10 to get the signal. The Maestro is a newer model though.

----- Magellan Maestro 5310 ----- Free Garmin Nüvi 270 -----